This fantastically simple Fiery Hunan Shrimp recipe features a delicious Thai chili red sauce, so every bite is packed with bold and spicy flavors. Tender shrimp are quickly marinated, then stir-fried with the Hunan sauce for a dish that's as easy to make as it is satisfying to enjoy.
Like this Camarones a la Diabla recipe, it's ready to serve in under an hour and packs a gratifying amount of spiciness. Each dish is perfect for serving with your favorite fresh veggies or rice.
Why We Love This Recipe
Bold, Spicy Flavor. If hot and spicy is your thing, this Hunan shrimp recipe is definitely for you. The chili paste along with the Thai red chilies has just the right amount of heat to make you want more and more. For a less spicy dish Asian-inspired dish, try my baked shrimp recipe.
Shaoxing Wine. The "not so secret" ingredient that will take this Hunan shrimp dish from very good to amazingly great. Also known as Chinese cooking wine, Shaoxing wine is as readily available at most stores or online. It is as much a key ingredient in Chinese cooking as soy sauce.
Healthy and Customizable. As-is this Hunan shrimp dish is low carb and gluten-free. It's a saucy dish that's perfect to serve with white or brown rice, or cauliflower rice. You can even add your favorite fresh veggies for an even healthier and heartier recipe.
Quick and Easy. Although the shrimp do need to marinate for 30 minutes for the best flavor, the actual hands-on cooking time for prepping and stir-frying is less than 20 minutes. Simply combine the Hunan shrimp ingredients as directed, blend the sauces, marinate the shrimp, and cook over high heat for a few minutes until done.
How to Make Hunan Shrimp
- Marinate the Shrimp. In a large bowl, first whisk together cornstarch and cold water. Then add the remaining shrimp marinade ingredients. Peel and devein the shrimp; feel free to remove or leave the tails on. Add the cleaned raw shrimp to the bowl, cover, and let the shrimp marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Prepare the Hunan Sauce. After 30 minutes, pour off a bit of the shrimp marinade liquid into a small bowl. Whisk in the rest of the Hunan shrimp sauce ingredients, and set the bowl aside.
- Stir Fry the Shrimp. Chop the garlic, ginger, and shallots - do not mince or they'll burn in the hot pan. Heat a wok or skillet over high heat, add just enough oil to coat the pan, and briefly stir fry the chopped aromatics. Add the shrimp and the marinade to the wok, and cook on high for 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Pour in more Shaoxing wine to help the shrimp to not overcook, and stir.
- Serve and Enjoy. Remove the pan from the heat immediately. Enjoy as-is by itself, or pair Hunan Shrimp with steamed white rice or Instant Pot Brown Rice. Or you can even serve it with low carb cauliflower rice. I don't recommend making this dish ahead as leftovers do not reheat well.
- Swap the Shaoxing Wine. If this wine is not available, you can use a dry sherry or Mirin. But if you prefer to not use alcohol at all, you can certainly substitute the wine with seafood broth or no-salt-added chicken broth.
- Make Hunan Shrimp More or Less Spicy. This recipe calls for 1-½ teaspoons of dried Thai chiles which makes quite a spicy dish. I recommend starting with ½ a teaspoon, tasting, and increasing the amount used by ½ teaspoon increments to get the spiciness you like.
- Add Vegetables. You can add some great crunch and healthy goodness to Hunan Shrimp by including select vegetables to the stir fry. For example:
- Green Beans. Add a bag of frozen green beans along with the raw shrimp per the recipe.
- Asparagus. Snap off the tough ends, wash, and cut fresh asparagus into smaller pieces. Add the asparagus after the shrimp have cooked on the first side and are ready to flip.
- Frozen Chinese Vegetables. Add mixed stir fry vegetables - any amount that you prefer - along with the shrimp and continue according to the recipe.
- Garnish the Dish. A generous sprinkling of green onions and/or sesame seeds are great on this Hunan Shrimp dish. The scallions add a pop of fresh flavor and the sesame seeds have a lovely texture.
- Halve the Portions. As-is, our recipe is enough to serve four hearty portions. However, you can easily halve the ingredients to make a delicious Hunan shrimp dinner for two.
Suggested Side Dishes
- Instant Pot Brown Rice (Super Simple and Tested)
- Crispy Air Fried Green Beans
- Instant Pot Broccoli
- Air Fryer Asparagus - Crispy and Tender
More Delicious Shrimp Recipes
Fiery Hunan Shrimp
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil
- 2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine Chinese cooking wine
- 1 tablespoon Sambal Oelek or other red chili paste
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 pound large shrimp (31/35) heads removed
- ¼ cup ketchup
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
- 1-½ teaspoons ground dried Thai chiles see note
- 1-½ teaspoons granulated sugar
- ¼ cup peanut oil
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
- ½ cup diced shallots 1 large or 2 medium shallots
- 1-½ tablespoons Shaoxing wine Chinese cooking wine
- In a large bowl, whisk together the cold water and cornstarch. Add the peanut oil, Shaoxing wine, Sambal Oelek, soy sauce, and white pepper; mixing well. Remove ¼ cup of the mixture and set aside.
- Peel and devein the shrimp, leaving the tail on. Add the shrimp to the large bowl with the cornstarch mixture and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- In a small bowl, combine the reserved shrimp marinade, the ketchup, oyster sauce, vinegar, soy sauce, Thai chiles, and sugar. Set aside.
- Over high heat, place a wok or large deep skillet for 30 seconds. Add the peanut oil. Swirl the oil in the wok to coat with the oil. When the oil starts to shimmer, add the ginger and stir 10 seconds. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Lower the heat to medium. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, 2 to 3 minutes or until the shallots are softened.
- Increase the heat to high and stir in the shrimp and the marinade. Arrange shrimp in a single layer and cook, 1 to 2 minutes or until the shrimp begin to turn pink. Turn the shrimp over and stir. Add the wine along the edge of the pan and mix well.
- Stir the Hunan sauce and pour it over the shrimp. Cook, stirring, for 1-½ minutes or until the shrimp are coated and the sauce begins to bubble.
- Serve hot.
- Feel free to remove the tail when you remove the shell if you prefer.
- Green Beans: Add 12 ounces frozen green beans to the mixture with the shrimp in step 5.
- Asparagus: Snap off the tougher ends of the fresh asparagus. Wash and pat dry. Cut the asparagus in to 2-inch pieces. Add the asparagus at the end of step 5.
- Green Onions: Garnish with sliced green onions before serving.
- Sesame Seeds: Garnish with sesame seed before serving.